Hello to all my fellow nurses and future nurses! I finally passed my NCLEX-RN and I wanted to share my journey with you all in hopes that it can help at least one struggling person!
I graduated and obtained my BSN in May 2013 and due to a clerical error with my transcript, I was unable to even register for my NCLEX until September 2013 and did not sit for my initial try until October 2013. In that time I did not study or take the NCLEX seriously at all. Despite being in the top percentile for clinical rotation grades and high praise from clinical instructors, I struggled in the classroom my senior year of nursing school, which reflected poorly when it came to the NCLEX.
I failed, then I failed again.... and again.... and again. I took Kaplan, ATI, Hurst, Learningext, but I kept failing. I remember reading a statistic that repeat test-takers are twice as likely to fail again... and for me it was true. I lost all confidence in myself, questioned my life, questioned my desire. I was embarrassed to see family members and friends from nursing school. Eventually my own parents (who have always been as supportive as possible) subtly suggested I pursue a different career path.
And I was about to.... after my most recent failure I came across a thread on these message boards about a student who had failed as many times as myself seeking help. One of the first replies from a member here suggested the person give up because if they could not accomplish passing the NCLEX, they had no business becoming a nurse. Now, while other nurses quickly jumped the defense of this poor student, the initial reply hit close to home for me. I won't lie, I broke down into tears. The next day I started looking into going back to school or getting a full time job anywhere.
But I didn't. I had a fire inside of me that would not be extinguished. I wouldn't abandon my dream of being an RN or all the hard-work up until that point without giving it one hell of a last chance. Every day for two months after getting out of work at 5pm, I'd go to my local library and study. Anything I was not proficient in (for me was pharmacology and maternity) I would study extensively and make study guides for. I'd cap off the night with anywhere from 50 to 100 question tests on Uworld.com, which is by far my favorite of all NCLEX-RN preparation websites. At the beginning of October, full of confidence and knowledge, I walked into my local Pearson Vue testing center and did what I was meant to do, become a registered nurse.
I've had a lot of introspection the past two years and the past three months about who I am as a man, and who I want to be, and although it took me a long time, I shall forever be eternally grateful for the learning experience this was. When I graduated I thought I was invincible, and I'm grateful for the humility I've gained.
My message to you, someone who has failed once, twice, or ten times, is STOP, BREATHE, AND THINK. You can do this and you WILL do this. It is worth any sacrifice you have to make, just please DON'T EVER GIVE UP and DON'T EVER THINK YOU ARE WORTHLESS OR ALONE. Because you aren't. There are a ton of us who have been repeat testers and it does not reflect whether you'll be good nurse or not. How you act, how you carry yourself, your passion, your desire, that is what will make you a great nurse. Although I'm a new RN, we as nurses are a family, we love you, I love you, keep fighting the fight.
My message to someone who is still in school or has yet to attempt the NCLEX-RN is please, take is seriously. Don't make the same mistake I did. I was so glad to just be done with nursing school, I lost sight of what was really important and had my priorities mixed up. The small sacrifice of not going out on the weekends or having to spend a few hours at the library each night is worth it.
Best of luck to you all and I hope this helps at least one person!